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Old 09-27-2017, 03:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
Japan is fantastic for retirement, if you are fluent in Japanese.
And if you can afford it. Japan isn't exactly cheap...
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HSrights View Post
Yes it is low compared to the US, but unnecessary procedures and medicines due to widespread dishonest practices are common. If you are from the US, you probably don't trust the things and people in China. Lots of China bashing in the US, frankly speaking some are true, some are not true. And most Americans don't trust Chinese medicine. It is common to use both Western and Chinese medicine equally in China. The typical American don't believe and don't understand how it works. Chinese have these medicine concepts in their cultures for thousand of years and you should not argue with it. The Vietnamese and Korean also have traditional medicine similar to TCM.


Buses are cheap in China. If it is expensive, China does not provide them free of charge. Recently, free toilet papers can be seen in some Chinese cities. Public toilets were charged at RMB 1 or cheaper, some people sell toilet papers nearby too, ask some older people and they can tell you.


China is going to overtake Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Malaysia soon in GDP per capita. By then, it will be higher than all Southeast Asian countries except Singapore and Brunei. Rents and prices of housing in some Chinese cities are more expensive than the US, rivalling some parts of Hong Kong. You can expect costs of living to be higher than these countries later.
I'm not recommending China as a retirement destination for 99% of retirement expats. First of all, there is no visa that would work and city life in China wouldn't be good for almost any retired "westerner". But, if one is married to a Chinese national, one can get a spousal visa (which includes no benefits and no ability to work legally). There are places in rural China I wouldn't mind retiring to, but good medical attention is going to be rare. In rural Chinese cities, I'm not just talking about those craphole cities that are concrete jungles full of pollution, but there are small towns that are decent with decent real estate for $20K. Spend another $20K and get it remodeled to western standards. Now you have a paid off property with no property tax. I know this because I have done it. Now, this isn't going to be possible if one doesn't speak Chinese.

If someone wants to retire to Asia, I'd probably focus on SE Asia. The Philippines are probably a good choice, but I know nothing about their immigration polices.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:03 PM
 
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Mattks I'm in a similar boat as you are and I agree with lots of what you said. China, with a local Chinese spouse does make a lot of sense as you don't have any visa issues, and let's face it, living in China with a local spouse makes it easier to live here. The healthcare industry in China has come a long way, and I feel very confident in most situations going to a hospital to see a doctor in one of the large Chinese cities. You need to remember, there's a lot of people in China, and the doctors get much more exposure to the volume of patients, as well as different cases of problems. There's a lot of practice with patients for low to mid level procedures or operations needed in China. Yes, if I had cancer, or needed open heart surgery I would prefer to be in the U.S. but expats I find are too ignorant to understand physicians and the medical/healthcare industry in China and how much its improved.


My wife was misdiagnosed with a female problem at a very well known Shanghai hospital. We also had our child at eight months pregnant die in a very reputable children's hospital last year in Guangzhou, so we've had our fair share of problems. I still feel the doctors and hospitals in China have improved greatly, and I feel somewhat comfortable going to them.


Where I'm concerned with in retiring in China and growing old would be the ambulance response time and how professional, or lack of professionalism and training those people have. It takes way too long if say someone has a heart attack, for an ambulance to pick you up. Plus you then need to be transported thru the city to the hospital, which takes a long time. Other issues are, there's way too many people at the hospital and you need to wait half the day just to see a doctor. Also, doctors don't discuss your problems with you, or what they think as they're all too concerned with getting sued. The system has its issues, but I blame the system and lack of resources and not the doctors and their training/education.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:51 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,639,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
Mattks I'm in a similar boat as you are and I agree with lots of what you said. China, with a local Chinese spouse does make a lot of sense as you don't have any visa issues, and let's face it, living in China with a local spouse makes it easier to live here. The healthcare industry in China has come a long way, and I feel very confident in most situations going to a hospital to see a doctor in one of the large Chinese cities. You need to remember, there's a lot of people in China, and the doctors get much more exposure to the volume of patients, as well as different cases of problems. There's a lot of practice with patients for low to mid level procedures or operations needed in China. Yes, if I had cancer, or needed open heart surgery I would prefer to be in the U.S. but expats I find are too ignorant to understand physicians and the medical/healthcare industry in China and how much its improved.


My wife was misdiagnosed with a female problem at a very well known Shanghai hospital. We also had our child at eight months pregnant die in a very reputable children's hospital last year in Guangzhou, so we've had our fair share of problems. I still feel the doctors and hospitals in China have improved greatly, and I feel somewhat comfortable going to them.


Where I'm concerned with in retiring in China and growing old would be the ambulance response time and how professional, or lack of professionalism and training those people have. It takes way too long if say someone has a heart attack, for an ambulance to pick you up. Plus you then need to be transported thru the city to the hospital, which takes a long time. Other issues are, there's way too many people at the hospital and you need to wait half the day just to see a doctor. Also, doctors don't discuss your problems with you, or what they think as they're all too concerned with getting sued. The system has its issues, but I blame the system and lack of resources and not the doctors and their training/education.
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Chinese hospitals are at best okay, there are very few that are good to great. If one is older and unhealthy, China is not a good choice, but if one has serious health issues, they probably shouldn't be considering retiring abroad. My wife's friend who lives in Shanghai lost her mother a couple weeks ago, she went in for what they thought was a minor foot injury and she passed away just a couple days later during surgery. She was pretty old and perhaps her body just couldn't take the surgery, but they are currently in a lawsuit with the hospital.

I'm sure there will be those who disagree with me, but retiring abroad, especially for those over 60 is always going to carry risk. The reality is most countries only have okay healthcare systems. Most hospitals in developing countries will have dirty floors, gross bathrooms, and likely little privacy for smaller medical issues. The US healthcare system is actually pretty good compared to much of the world. Being a foreigner, one will likely receive better care and attention, so that's a benefit.

I've become quite interested in the northern Philippines recently. I've never been there, but a friend of mine spent 2 months there and loved it. I didn't realize English was spoken so widely in much of the Philippines either. It's definitely jumped up on the list of destinations I'd like to see.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:31 PM
 
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Thanks Mattks. Yeah, the U.S. healthcare, the actual service provided and the quality are actually great. Its the cost that I think most people have the biggest issue with. Why an ultra sound in China or other parts of the world cost 50 to 100 USD while in the U.S. if you had that test done might cost 700 or 800 USD I have no idea, but the entire medical industry is a mess and my guess would be politics are too heavily involved.


I've never been to the Philippines but I've heard good and bad things. People are great, but there's a lot of corruption and its a very slow pace of life. Thailand I've heard is great for healthcare and its inexpensive.


I just couldn't retire to one of those countries as I don't like the weather, as the heat and having to run the air con for most of the year bothers me.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,774 posts, read 5,121,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
And if you can afford it. Japan isn't exactly cheap...
I’m pretty sure that an American retiree with a retirement bank account would be pretty rich and can afford it.

I don’t really get retiring in Asia though. America itself has plenty of spots for retirement, and there’s always Canada and the Caribbeans. In Europe there’s Spain and Greece, both have fantastic weather and a very healthy lifestyle. Asia on the other hand is crowded af and the pollution is horrible in most countries.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:20 AM
 
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The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand offer retirement visas. The programs are a bit similar in the sense that one deposits certain amount of funds at a bank within the country in exchange for a visa. The requirements are not high, $50k or less. There's no pathway to citizenship in all three cases, but most foreigners probably don't mind that anyway.

The Philippine scheme is here: PRA: Philippine Retirement Authority
Just note that only Filipino citizens are allowed to own land. Foreigners can own condominiums or other forms of properties. Just be very wary. Know a British guy who bought some property under his Filipino GF's name. He even has a child with the GF. But they're not married, and so when he and the GF separated, the British guy got kicked out of the property he bought with his life savings and has no legal recourse.

English is the primary written language in the Philippines (although not the primary spoken language). Banks, hospitals and government all function in English. In fact, the board exams for doctors, nurses and lawyers are all given only in English. Many documents are only in English, including driver's licenses, bank checks, tax returns, etc.

I already own properties suitable for retirement in the Philippines, but will certainly welcome other options. And will be happy to be out of the Philippines from 3 to 9 months a year. Would like to get a respite from the traffic chaos, the hot humid weather and the corrupt government people, but in general, still a nice place to live. If there's a good visa I can get in the future in a more developed country (but not the US, due to US tax laws) and if I can afford it, I'd probably like to spend 3 to 9 months in a place with a Mediterranean or subtropical climate. Or a 3 to 6 month stay in Hokkaido or Canada will be nice, just need to get out of there in winter.

And no, given most finances of Americans, most can't afford to retire in Japan.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,774 posts, read 5,121,205 times
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^I’m guessing most Americans stay in America instead of retiring overseas. If you’re going through all the hassle moving abroad of course the finances would be harder to manage.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,159,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
Many of you have lived in Asia as an expats for many years, some of you are Asian but have migrated to North America or Europe or Australian/NZ for school or work reasons. Do you think retiring in Asia is a good idea? Could you handle it? How about an early retirement and being in your 40's or early 50's and living in Asia without a job. Would you get bored? Do you have concerns about healthcare? If you had kids, do you hear they would be too "localized" and your foreign culture or language hasn't influenced them enough?


Do you feel like your missing out on a different or better more purposeful life back home? Can you realistically see yourself growing old and dying in Asia? China? Taiwan? HK? Vietnam? Korea?
IS RETIRING IN ASIA A GOOD IDEA?
Asia isn't for everyone. I think for MOST retirees from North America, they want to be closer to home, for their kids, and grandkids, and such.

For expat types who've made a life out of living in Asia, than retiring in Asia makes more sense, etc.

COULD YOU HANDLE IT?
Yes, I've lived almost all of my adult life in Asia, I don't know if I could handle retiring or semi-retiring back in North America, after so many years in Asia. It's what you are used to.

EARLY RETIREMENT/BORED.
This question has nothing to do with Asia and retirement. It depends completely on your own personal interests.

HEALTHCARE.
Healthcare is significantly more affordable in Asia, and definitely at cost.

LOCALIZED.
I don't know what that means. I have kids and living in Asia. I don't know what that means, but in general, kids exposed to other cultures and languages have a huge advantage in life.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,159,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
Even if your not Japanese? Can you really be part of the local community in Japan if your a foreigner? (depending on if fitting in with the locals was something your interested in as you age).
This is true throughout Asia. You'll never be 'local' anywhere in Asia if you don't have an Asian face.

If a white person can't handle that fact, they'll never be able to adjust to living in Asia. You will always be reminded, on a consistent basis, that you aren't local.
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